Parents at a Catholic primary school are attempting to get the Pope on their side as they fight against academisation.

Some families at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School are opposed to its “forced” academisation, which will see the school removed from local authority control and run by the Brentwood Diocese, the Catholic administrative body that oversees the area.

The school is due to become an academy following a government issued order which started the process.

But parents argue they have not been adequately consulted on the plans by the diocese and feel their concerns have not been heard.

Councillors previously accused the Catholic body of “squalid behaviour” due to its perceived failings to properly engage with parents.

Now those parents plan to protest the move by holding a peaceful protest outside the school tomorrow night while the governors meet for their AGM inside.

From 6.30pm parents, children and union representatives will hand letters to governors as they arrive – letters previously sent by the parents that they say have been ignored.

Failing the peaceful protest tomorrow evening, the parents’ next step is to write to the Pope himself, asking for his intervention.

Vicky Taylor, whose two children are in Year 1 and Year 2 at the school, plans to join protesters tomorrow.

She said: “It’s a struggle. No one wants to go against the bishop, but hopefully we’ll get a good turn out to what will be a peaceful protest. We don’t want it to be horrible, there will be children there.

“The letters we’ll be handing to the governors have been ignored for ages, they’ve already made decisions.

“The diocese has made no time for open dialogue, there has been no backing up of its decision other than that they believe Catholic education is under threat.

“They won’t address us as a group, they want to divide and rule.”

Ms Taylor went on to explain the next step would be to write to the Pope directly.

She said: “We have a few things bubbling away. We’re going to write to the Pope, the Cardinal and the Bishop directly. Might as well aim high.”

Cllr Paul Donovan, of Wanstead Village ward, said:"It is a shame that Our Lady of Lourdes parents have to protest outside the governors meeting to try to find out what is happening with their school. 

"There seems to be some confusion about the process that has led to an academy order being requested then granted by the regional commissioner. 

"The parents need to know why the academisation appears to be going ahead so clearly against the wishes of the parents."

According to a parent survey, almost half of those with children at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School are against the school being taken away from local authority control and being run entirely by Brentwood Diocese. Only four per cent voted in favour of academisation.

Brentwood Diocese was contacted for comment.